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Why are women more likely to get injured in car crashes?

Mar 11, 2021 | Personal Injury

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently released data from a study that finds women are at an increased risk of serious injury when involved in a car accident compared to men. However, the group also found that changes made to vehicles to increase safety benefited both men and women equally.

If these safety changes are benefiting both men and women equally, why are more women getting injured?

IIHS researchers speculate that two factors may lead to a higher rate of injury in women: vehicle choice and being a passenger, as opposed to a driver, in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

Based on their research, the group states women were more likely to choose smaller, lighter vehicles. These vehicles are less likely to offer protection to their occupants when compared to larger, heavier vehicles chosen by men involved in the study. To support this assessment, the researchers point out that 20% of men and 5% of women involved in accidents were driving pickup trucks. 70% of women and 60% of men were in smaller cars.

Researchers dug deeper and also analyzed data from the federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Based on this information they also found that men were more likely to be driving at the time of these crashes while women were more likely to be passengers. The group points out that drivers are at a lower risk of injury, which could be another reason for the higher rate of injury in women.

What data did researchers use in their study?

The group analyzed vehicles towed away in police-reported front and side accidents from 1998 through 2015. The group defined a serious injury as those involving broken bones, concussions, collapsed lung or traumatic brain injuries.

What should those injured in a car crash learn from this study?

Accidents that result in serious injury can happen for a variety of reasons. Those who are injured and believe the accident was the result of another driver’s negligent or reckless actions may be able to hold that driver accountable for the expenses that result from the accident. These expenses can quickly add up and may include future costs or impact your ability to work and bring in a paycheck. An attorney experienced in this area of law can discuss your options.